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Tropicbird Flight Service

at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole

  • Flight training
  • Aircraft rental
  • Aerial photography
  • Pilot supplies
  • Flying club
  • Courtesy transportation
  • Public telephone
  • Computerized weather
  • Restrooms
Contact information
Address:Kona International Airport
Building 111
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
United States of America
Telephone: 808-895-4753
Comments from AirNav users
Comments are submitted by their authors and do not reflect the opinion of AirNav, LLC. All comments must adhere to AirNav's Policy on Comments.
From David Pearson on 12-Aug-2018

  I took the Island Flying course from Mike during my recent visit to the Big Island of Hawaii. As an experienced and IFR-rated Private Pilot, I was skeptical of the "dual-only" approach for visiting pilots but I was quickly sold on the value of having a local CFI to brief and fly right seat for the adventure. The thorough pre-flight briefing covered island weather patterns, terrain, and the local traffic patterns around the island. Once airborne, we followed the coast around the Island to the volcano. I flew while Mike handled the radio traffic on the air-to-air frequency (local lingo heavily used). Over the lava flow, I handed the controls over to Mike to take photos and enjoy the overhead view of nature's fury in progress, while Mike kept us clear of the TFR, weather, and air tour traffic. Tropicbird's C-172 is immaculate and performed great. I highly recommend Mike and Tropicbird to pilots or prospective pilots visiting the Big Island - mine was an unforgettable experience!
From Les Brown on 24-Mar-2018

  Mike was awesome. I took the island flying course along with my wife as passenger. He did a full hour of ground instruction about the procedures around the islands, navigation, emergency procedures and special weather considerations caused by the islands and the mountains. We then evaluated the weather and planned a flight that would give us the best view of the landscape and waterfalls. His planes are well maintained, much better than many I have rented on the mainland and he lets you do as much or little of the flying as you want. You will want to take him up on this and hand the airplane over to him on occasion so you can take pictures and take in the view. I highly recommend this course for visiting pilots it is worth you time and money to get over to Kona and take this flight. We were staying on Maui and flew over on Hawaiian to Kona for this flight. Again, well worth it.
From Stephen Montgomery on 19-Feb-2018

  I did the Island Flying Course with my family, and had a fantastic time. It was great flying around the island, seeing the sights, while learning about the unique flying environment from some very seasoned pilots!
From Eddie Goble on 05-Dec-2017

  This was an incredible experience. Thank you Mike for something I will remember for the rest of my life. Tropicbird's Diamond DA20 is pristine and fly’s wonderfully. I am a private pilot, but would recommend this experience to those of any experience level. This is the best way to see the Big Island. If I am back on the Island in the future, I will be flying here again!
From Ulf Habermann on 16-Aug-2017

  I took the Island Mountain Flying program offered by Tropicbird. I really appreciate all the insights about weather conditions, topography, and of course local sights and geology from Michael. I just earned my private pilot license in May and it was a great experience. It was definitely the highlight of my entire trip to Big Island. Flying around the island is the way to take in all the island has to offer and Michael and his team made it a most memorable experience. You can tell that they care for their aircraft and the C172 was in beautiful condition. I would highly recommend spending a few hours with Michael and team.
From Patrick Ghion on 17-Jul-2017

  Travelling with the kids to Hawaii, I was trying to rent a Cessna with a safety pilot to fly over the Big Island of Hawaii. Surfing on the web, I found Tropicbird, which offers an "Island Adventure Flying Course". This course is awesome and so interesting. You learn a lot on the do's and don't on island flying, the specific weather conditions on Hawaii and the main wind conditions on the islands. We then made a fantastic flight around the island with a unique view of the volcano’s and lava, also the lava flow going into the ocean. Michael Lauro is great professional, very experienced and knowledgeable. Thank you Mike for this great experience!
From Terry Liddick on 27-Jun-2017

  Flew with Mike on June 26th in his 172. It was a great flight and a nice plane. Mike was a great guy to do this around the island flight with. He is extremely knowledgeable of the island and aviation. If you are a pilot or student pilot and wish to have a tremendous experience, take the island flying training flight with Mike, you will have a great time, learn a ton and will not regret it!
From David Schweitzer on 27-Apr-2017

  While visiting the BIG Island in March '17, I decided to take a leap with Mike Lauro. Mike was the consummate host with oodles of flight experience! I am a multi-engine IFR rated flyer and I can always learn something new and thanks to Mike I did. I highly recommend the loop flight. A Spectacular and unforgettable experience! Go for it!
From Max Lucado on 20-Feb-2017

  I am a student pilot. I flew twice with Tropicbird during my Hawaii visit. It was extraordinary. I learned much that will compliment my lessons back home. Mike is a prince of a guy and a phenomenal instructor. I highly recommend Tropicbird.
From Mohammed Altuwairgi on 17-Aug-2016

  I am a private pilot from the Chicago area, and being that I was spending a few days on the big island I decided to book a flight around the island with tropicbird. I opted to take their Island Adventure Course, and I absolutely loved it. My wife decided to join and she also had a great time! Mike shared some invaluable information about island flying and specific details about the big island that were very interesting and useful. Also, since the area is mountainous, I got some insight into mountain flying that was useful for a flat-lander. We also got a close view of the active volcano, which was breath taking. I highly recommend this course to anyone visiting the big island.
From Oliver Boomhower on 20-Feb-2016

  Was in area on vacation in May last year and decided to do a tour. Eric from Tropicbird was an excellent copilot for this (at that point) newly minted pilot. He provided interesting tidbits of information as we did the loop around the big island. Highly recommend!
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